- 13 updates
Chief Exectuive of HEFCW, the organisation which shares out Welsh Government funds to universities, David Blaney on the likely impact of changes to the way Welsh higher education is funded.
His comments follow concerns set out in evidence to next week's Finance Committee session on higher education funding.
Shadow Education Minister Angela Burns has responded to the latest figures setting out the impact on universities in Wales of the Welsh Government's tuition fees policy:
Responding to further concerns about the impact of the Welsh Government's tuition fees policy on universities, Welsh Liberal Democrat Education Spokesman Aled Roberts says:
Beth Button, Deputy President of NUS Wales, warns that concerns about the affordability of tuition fees misses a bigger concern: how to help students cope with living costs.
She also says the current system doesn't take into account part-time students which is putting off potential students from lower-income backgrounds.
Plaid Cymru's Education Spokesperson, Simon Thomas, says these new figures show that the way students and universities are funded is unsustainable in the long term.
New figures reveal that £50m of Welsh Government money this year is going directly to universities elsewhere in the UK because of its tuition fees policy. The figure is revealed in evidence published by the Assembly's Finance Committee. You can read it here.
In its evidence, the organisation representing higher education institutions, Higher Education Wales, says universities face an 'uncertain' future as a result of the changes. And it warns that they pose a risk to 'higher-cost' courses like medicine and engineering. HEW says:
- It's 'wrong in principle' that £50m of the Welsh universities budget for 2013/14 is going to institutions elsewhere in the UK. The figure's confirmed in separate evidence by the body which shares out funding to universities, HEFCW.
- Changes to the way universities are funded 'poses risks' to provision of 'higher-cost' subjects like medicine and engineering, Welsh medium provision and ensuring more students from disadvantaged backgrounds attend university.
- · Evidence from Wales and England shows that higher tuition fees of up to £9000 aren't putting off students from lower-income backgrounds 'with or without fee grant payments' like the Welsh subsidy
- Universities can't take any further funding cuts 'without serious consequences' for their activities.
It follows a report earlier this week into the costs of the tuition fees policy and the launch of a Welsh Government review into the funding of Higher Education.
Plaid Cymru AM Simon Thomas was an adviser to the One Wales coalition government which introduced the cap on tuition fees in Wales. But he says the Wales Audit Office report calls into question the policy's long-term affordability.
Former Education Minister Leighton Andrews explains why he disputes the claim by the Auditor-General for Wales that the cost of subsidising tuition fees is more than £150m more than first predicted.
The Education Minister, Huw Lewis welcomes the Wales Audit Office's report into Welsh tuition fees. He says:
A report by the Wales Audit Office which shows a 24% increase in the costs of capping tuition fees in Wales has been described as 'shocking' and 'scathing' by Welsh Conservatives. Shadow Education Minister Angela Burns says: